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RELIGST 86: Exploring the New Testament (CLASSICS 43, JEWISHST 86)

To explore the historical context of the earliest Christians, students will read most of the New Testament as well as many documents that didn't make the final cut. Non-Christian texts, Roman art, and surviving archeological remains will better situate Christianity within the ancient world. Students will read from the Dead Sea Scrolls, explore Gnostic gospels, hear of a five-year-old Jesus throwing divine temper tantrums while killing (and later resurrecting) his classmates, peruse an ancient marriage guide, and engage with recent scholarship in archeology, literary criticism, and history.
Terms: Spr | Units: 4 | UG Reqs: GER:DB-Hum, WAY-A-II, WAY-SI | Grading: Letter or Credit/No Credit
Instructors: Penn, M. (PI)

RELIGST 91: Exploring American Religious History (AMSTUD 91, CSRE 91, HISTORY 260K)

This course will trace how contemporary beliefs and practices connect to historical trends in the American religious landscape.
Terms: Spr | Units: 4 | UG Reqs: WAY-ED, WAY-SI | Grading: Letter (ABCD/NP)
Instructors: Lum, K. (PI)

RELIGST 115X: Europe in the Middle Ages, 300-1500 (HISTORY 15D, HISTORY 115D)

This course provides an introduction to Medieval Europe from the fall of Rome to the Renaissance. While the framework of the course is chronological, we¿ll concentrate particularly on the structure of medieval society. Rural and urban life, kingship and papal government, wars and plagues provide the context for our examination of the lives of medieval people, what they believed, and how they interacted with other, both within Christendom and beyond it.
Terms: Aut | Units: 3-5 | UG Reqs: WAY-SI | Grading: Letter or Credit/No Credit

RELIGST 135: Islam in America (AFRICAAM 135A, AMSTUD 135X, CSRE 135, GLOBAL 137)

This course explores the history of Islam in North America with special emphasis on the experience of Muslims in the United States. Contrary to popularly held belief, Muslims have been critical participants in the construction of American identity from the 16th century onwards when Muslim slaves were forcibly brought to Colonial America. Our course will explore the diverse ways Muslims in America have imagined, practiced, and negotiated their religious identity. We will move chronologically, and we will focus upon three crucial themes: the convergence of constructions of racial, religious, and national identities in America; the ever-shifting terrain of notions of authority and authenticity amongst Muslims in America; and global resonances of the practices and ideas of American Muslims.
Terms: Win | Units: 4 | UG Reqs: WAY-ED, WAY-SI | Grading: Letter or Credit/No Credit
Instructors: Morgan, A. (PI)

RELIGST 139: Religion along the Silk Road

From roughly the year 1 to the year 1000, a vibrant trade route stretched across Central Asia, linking Europe, India and East Asia. Along this route, merchants bought and sold the silk that gave the route its name, along with paper, ceramics, spices, precious stones and any number of other commodities. Together with these trade goods, merchants, missionaries, farmers and artisans who participated in this vast commercial network, exchanged ideas, scriptures, practices and beliefs, including those associated with major religious traditions; Buddhism, Zoroastrianism, Christianity, Judaism, Manichaeism and Islam followed the same routes as silk and spice. In this course we will examine the spread of all of these religions across the Silk Road, what happened when they interacted, and what this tells us about the relation between commerce, trade and geography in the pre-modern world.
Terms: Spr | Units: 4 | UG Reqs: WAY-ED, WAY-SI | Grading: Letter or Credit/No Credit

RELIGST 162X: Spirituality and Nonviolent Urban and Social Transformation (CSRE 162A, URBANST 126)

A life of engagement in social transformation is often built on a foundation of spiritual and religious commitments. Case studies of nonviolent social change agents including Rosa Parks in the civil rights movement, César Chávez in the labor movement, and WIlliam Sloane Coffin in the peace movement; the religious and spiritual underpinnings of their commitments. Theory and principles of nonviolence. Films and readings. Service learning component includes placements in organizations engaged in social transformation. Service Learning Course (certified by Haas Center).
Terms: Win | Units: 3 | UG Reqs: GER:DB-Hum, WAY-ED, WAY-SI | Grading: Letter (ABCD/NP)

RELIGST 180: Gender Relations in Islam (FEMGEN 180)

This course investigates the ways in which gender identities and relationships between men and women have been articulated, constructed, and refashioned throughout the Muslim world. Starting with problematizing the fixed notions of gender and sexuality, we map the attitudes toward these notions through visiting a diverse array of sources from the Qur¿an, Sunna, and legal documents to historical and anthropological case studies, literature, and film from South East Asia to Europe and North America. We examine the notions of femininity and masculinity in the Qur¿an, family laws, and attitudes toward homosexuality and transgendered populations. We read examples of ambiguous use of language with regards to gender and sexuality in Persian poetry and mystical traditions. We study the dynamic relationship between Islam and Feminism in the Muslim world. Finally, we witness the implications of these attitudes in our case studies and stories, from a divorce court in Iran to a wedding in Sudan.
Terms: Aut | Units: 4 | UG Reqs: WAY-A-II, WAY-SI | Grading: Letter or Credit/No Credit
Instructors: Najafian, A. (PI)

RELIGST 209: Priests, Prophets, and Kings: Religion and Society in Late Antique Iran (CLASSICS 147, CLASSICS 247, RELIGST 309)

This course is designed as a broad introduction to the religious and social history of the Sasanian Empire, encompassing the period from 224-651 CE as well as the early years of Islamic rule in Iran. Among the topics we will discuss are: the lives and deeds of the powerful Iranian emperors such as Shapur I and II in relation to the the Roman emperors Diocletian and Constantine; the transformation of Zoroastrianism into a powerful official religion of the state and its subsequent orthodoxy; the emergence of the prophet Mani and the confrontation of Manicheism with the Zoroastrian priesthood; the conversion of Constantine to Christianity and its political and social ramifications in Iran; the establishment of an independent Iranian Christian church; the importance of Armenia in the Sasanian- Roman conflict; and a brief discussion of the history of the Jewish community under the Sasanians. We will end the quarter by examining the Arab¿Islamic¿conquests of Iran and the profound social changes experienced by the Zoroastrian communities in the early centuries of Islam in Iran.
Terms: not given this year | Units: 4-5 | UG Reqs: GER:DB-Hum, WAY-SI | Grading: Letter or Credit/No Credit

RELIGST 209E: Imperishable Heroes and Unblemished Goddesses: Myth, Ritual, and Epic in Ancient Iran (CLASSICS 148, CLASSICS 248, RELIGST 309E)

Designed as a broad introduction to the world of ancient Iran, students will be introduced to the Indo-European inheritance in ancient Iranian culture; the shared world of ritual, religion, and mythology between Zoroastrianism in Iran and Vedic Hinduism in India; and to the contours of early Zoroastrian religious thought. We will also survey mythoepic literature in translation from the archaic Avesta through the late antique Zoroastrian Middle Persian corpus to the early medieval national epic of Iran, the Book of Kings of Ferdowsi.
Terms: not given this year | Units: 3-5 | UG Reqs: GER:DB-Hum, WAY-SI | Grading: Letter or Credit/No Credit

RELIGST 235: Religion in Modern Society: Secularization and the Sacred (RELIGST 335)

What is the status of religion in modern life? Is the modern world "secular" in some fundamental, irreversible way and what does this mean? This course will explore these questions through variety of readings from leading sociologists, philosophers, and anthropologists. Our goal will be to understand in what ways industrialization, political liberalization, the rise of technology, and the success of modern science have been used to support the "secularization" thesis that the modern West rendered religion a thing of the past. A central question to be asked will be: do assessments of the place of religion in modernity necessitate a philosophy of history i.e., a theory not only of historical change, but of the meaning of this change as well?n The course will begin by looking at the origins of the theory of secularization from its beginnings in Enlightenment attempts to understand the meaning of history. We will then turn to contemporary debates over the term "secular" against its counterpart, "religious", and the problems with their application to non-Western societies. We will read works by Talal Asad, Saba Mahmood, Max Weber, Charles Taylor, Jürgen Habermas, and Pope Benedict XVI.
Terms: not given this year | Units: 4 | UG Reqs: GER:DB-Hum, WAY-A-II, WAY-SI | Grading: Letter or Credit/No Credit
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